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Nominations Now Open for 2025-26 Michigan Teacher of the Year

LANSING – The window for nominating candidates for the 2025-26 Michigan Teacher of the Year program is now open.

The purpose of the Michigan Teacher of the Year program is to honor and recognize teachers from across Michigan.

“Michigan schools are fortunate to have so many outstanding teachers,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “We want to recognize their efforts, encourage their collaboration, and honor their commitment to the children of our great state.”

Each year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) selects 10 Regional Teachers of the Year through a competitive application process, with one of those teachers being named Michigan Teacher of the Year. Teacher of the Year awardees have an opportunity to learn more about educational initiatives and policies at the state level and provide input on how to better serve Michigan’s teachers and students.

The nomination window is opening earlier this year to provide additional time to nominate teachers. People wishing to nominate a teacher for this program are asked to use the online form by Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. To be eligible, a nominee must have a valid Michigan teaching certificate, at least five years of teaching experience in Michigan, and be in good standing with their school or district.

On May 7, MDE selected Rochester High School teacher Ms. Kelley Cusmano as the 2024-25 Michigan Teacher of the Year. Ms. Candice Jackson of Mann Learning Community in Detroit Public Schools Community District is wrapping up her stint as 2023-24 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

MDE recognizes that some intermediate school districts and local education agencies, both traditional public school districts and public school academies, have an established process for awarding local teachers of the year. If so, representatives of districts and intermediate school districts are encouraged to recommend their local teachers of the year through a direct email to Anyone can nominate a teacher.

To learn more about MDE’s Michigan Teacher of the Year program, visit the program webpage. Anyone with questions regarding the program or nomination process can contact the Office of Educator Excellence at


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